Southland won the South Island men’s provincial tournament at St Clair over the weekend, despite Otago going through unbeaten.
Southland ended up with 3½ points out of a possible four while Otago finished on three.
The Southland team won the tournament as it managed to beat Canterbury 5½-2½ in what ended up as the key match.
The experienced trio of Matt Tautari, Liam Hewitt and Liam Baineaves were the backbone for the Southland team. Tautari and Baineaves won three of their four games while Hewitt won three games and halved the other.
Southland was all square with Otago — each team winning four games each.
Otago also drew with Canterbury which in the end was the difference
Otago finished with 20.5 game points while Southland was on 22.
Impressive for Otago was Sungwoon Han who was unbeaten with four wins at number 6 while Ben Patston also tallied four wins playing at number 7. Duncan Croudis picked up three wins and a half at number 2.
St Clair was in good order, although the wind on Saturday made for some tricky shots.
Otago had a 6½-1½ win over Tasman while it beat Aorangi 6-2.
In the match against Southland, Croudis won 1-up over Tautari while Jacob Bellamy beat Baineaves 3 and 2.
Han beat Doug Carmichael 3 and 1 and Patston downed Bryan Cantley 2 and 1.
The shots of the weekend belonged to Otago’s Phil Bungard who hit a hole in one on the 13th hole on Saturday and Southland Doug Carmichael on the 4th hole Sunday morning.
Bungard hit a 5-iron directly at the hole and it dribbled in much to the amazement of those watching.
His caddy was Dunedin stockbroker Peter Young. who must be a lucky charm.
Peter was last on the bags in March when he caddied for Australian Brad Kennedy when he won the New Zealand Open at Millbrook in March.
Meanwhile, the Otago women finished second behind Canterbury at the South Island provincial tournament in Ashburton.
The side made a good start with a 7-1 win over Tasman.
The side took on Aorangi on Saturday afternoon and drew 4-4.
It was a tight match with halves to Otago by Sumin Kang, Yoonae Jeong, and wins to Rebecca Calder, Imelda Marnane and Eleanor Newton.
The women met a strong Canterbury team yesterday morning and went down 6-2. Newton and Jeong picked up wins.
Otago had 13 game points wins while Aorangi trailed that score by a couple so Otago finished second. Southland did not field a women’s team.
Next up is the Otago Matchplay over Labour weekend then teams for the NZ Interprovincial will be named.
Steve Hepburn ODT